Annual Prayer Breakfast celebrates five years of growth

May 13, 2014

HOUSTON — The fifth annual Prayer Breakfast is set for Friday, July 18, at 7:30 a.m. at the Hilton Americas, located at 1600 Lamar St., Houston. Daniel Cardinal DiNardo is set to be the keynote speaker for the five-year milestone.

The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston Prayer Breakfast was created to unite the Greater Houston community annually in expressing trust in and dependence on God through prayer. As a forum to encourage people of all backgrounds in their journey of faith, the Prayer Breakfast reaffirms the desire of each participant to integrate their faith and daily life. This yearly gathering acknowledges the need for all persons to be supported in prayer as they strive to encounter the living God and thereby discover lasting meaning and hope.

Inspired after attending the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., Houston lawyer and Archdiocesan Development board member Brock Akers brought the idea to the Archdiocese. That was the beginning of the annual Prayer Breakfast in Houston, created to unite the Greater Houston-Galveston community annually in expressing trust in and dependence on God through prayer.

Trey Snider, who has served on the Prayer Breakfast Committee for the last three years and is serving as chair this year, said that, although there were some reservations about a July event, the first Breakfast was a great success with more than 400 attendees at River Oaks Country Club. 

“Our speaker that year was Scott Hahn, a Roman Catholic theologian and author. His presentation, “Understanding the ‘Our Father’,” was very inspiring and one of the most influential to me personally,” he said. “The event was very well received and appreciated by all attendees and provided the impetus for subsequent annual events.”

On July 13, 2011 the Archdiocese held the second Archdiocesan Prayer Breakfast and, due to the large response from the previous year, moved the event to the Hilton-Americas in Downtown Houston, where it has been held since. The featured speaker was Father James Martin, S.J., author of “The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything” and culture editor of America Magazine. Father Martin’s keynote, entitled, “Between Heaven and Mirth: Joy, Humor and Laughter in the Spiritual Life,” was a preview of his book, which is about getting to the heart of spirituality and reminding people that faith leads to joy and laughter which is a gift of God. 

“Catholics tend to forget that,” he said at the time. “Just count how many times the word ‘joy’ is used in the Gospels. Joy, humor and laugher are truly an essential part of spiritual life.”

The book was released in October 2011.

The third Prayer Breakfast, held July 16, 2012 to more than 650 people, featured a keynote address on “The Universal Call to Holiness” by Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle.

Archbishop Sartain spoke about what it means to practice holiness in our everyday lives at home, work, among family and within the Church. 
“More than you can possibly imagine, God loves you,” Archbishop Sartain said during his keynote. “You are of inestimable value to God. Yes you! God knows you better than you know yourself.”

A record crowd of more than 1,000 people heard from keynote speaker Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles at the fourth annual Archdiocesan Prayer Breakfast July 26, 2013.

In his keynote address, Archbishop Gomez spoke softly but intensely of the challenges to our faith today and beyond. In his talk, “New Saints for a New World of Faith: Meeting the Challenges to Our Faith Today and Beyond,” Archbishop Gomez recalled the often forgotten role faith had in the days before this land came to be known as America.

Snider said, “his discussion of the Church’s influence on American history and our spiritual beginning, how America is changing, and that ‘the soul of America will only be renewed by a new generation of saints, missionaries and mystics,’ addressed the challenges we face and reminded us to follow Jesus and to love as he loved.”

To register for this year’s Prayer Breakfast, visit Tickets are $50 each and tables are $500 and seat 10 people. Parking will be validated. Seating is limited.